This guide provides information on how to make the most of European History Primary Sources. Please click one of the links below for more information on specific topics. If you feel anything should be added please send us an email.

Search EHPS

EHPS can be searched in several ways:

Browse digital repositories: The easiest way to search EHPS is by browsing digital repositories by category and term. Start by choosing a category of interest, for instance "country" and choose a term, for example "France". The resulting list of entries can optionally be narrowed down using the filters with terms from other categories.

Browse portals: Use this page to browse portals similar to EHPS, for instance Intute or European, that provide access to multiple digital repositories. Tag search It is possible to select multiple tags at once using the tag search page. This is useful if you know exactly what you are looking for. If you are interested in, for example, digitized newspapers from France from the 19th century about all subjects then you would select France, 19th century and newspapers from the relevant categories without selecting any specific subject tag. This will yield the desired results. Keep in mind that if you are interested in all tags in a category (in our example, the subject doesn't matter) then you should NOT select a tag in that category.

Free text search The advanced search page offers a combination of free text and tag search. Search EHPS by keyword or phrases and optionally filter the results using tags. It is also possible to save your search and receive updates by email for new entries that match your query. Create a saved search On the saved search page it is possible to create a specific search that includes keywords and/or terms and receive automatic updates on new entries that matches your criteria.

Beyond EHPS: how to search inside digital repositories directly

Many researchers are not just interested in finding relevant digital repositories (using a portal like EHPS): they want to search inside digital repositories directly. There are two important ways to do so:

1) Use deep web search engines and portals:

It is very important to realize that many digital repositories cannot be indexed by search engines such as Google for technical reasons. These repositories are part of what is sometimes called the 'deep web' and they can only be searched by using special search engines that harvest and index their descriptive metadata (records) using OAI-PMH (the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting). The two most important search engines are OAIster (part of Worldcat) and BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine). In addition to these deep web search engines portals like Europeana enable users to search directly for millions of digitized items from archives, libraries and museums all over Europe using Linked Open Data. Europeana and other important portals can be found in our Browse portals pages.

2) use generic search engines like Google:

Of course some digital repositories can be searched by using generic search engines such as Google and Bing. To assist our users we have also created this special Google custom search. Using the search box below, you can perform a direct search inside many of the digital repositories that are listed on EHPS (as opposed to a search of the EHPS portal).

In combination with deep web search engines like OIAster and BASE, and portals like Europeana, Google and our Google custom search provide a good way to search the contents of many digital repositories that are relevant for European history.

How to stay updated?

Staying updated on new entries or specific categories in which you are interested is easy:

  • subscribe to updates by email.
  • follow us on Facebook.
  • follow us on Twitter.
  • subscribe to one of our RSS feeds.

RSS feeds

RSS feeds can be recognised by this icon: You can find more information about RSS feeds on Wikipedia or Depending on your computer settings feeds will open in your browser or an external RSS reader.

We offer the following general RSS feeds:

  Latest entries


Tag feeds:

Please consult the sitemape page for an overview of all tags and their feeds. It is also possible to combine tags in an RSS feed when you perform a filtered search. The feed on this page, for example, will update automatically when new sites are added to the portal that are tagged Germany and 16th century.